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02. 11. 2008

The scientific basis for red being the color of love


The Beauty Brains, as part of their series of posts leading up to Valentine's Day, discuss the possibility of a scientific reason behind the color red as the symbol of love. According to an article in NewScientist, our ability to see colors may have evolved to help us spot emotional cues, such as blushing in the context of mating. Prior research had suggested that humans developed the acute ability to see colors in order to identify ripe fruit and edible leaves, but a new study now points to our need/desire to access a potential mate's emotions as the driving force behind this trait.

Blushing is caused by an increase in oxygen content to the blood, with the color difference most dramatic in the 540 to 560 nanometer range, "the same part of the light spectrum at which the cone cells of primates' eyes are the most sensitive."

My question: Is red the color of love in most parts of the world?

Posted by Hoyun    Category: body
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Also, has red been the "color of love" throughout history? If so, did it arise independently in separate cultures or was it culturally diffused?

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